Sunday, August 31, 2014
Back to the lower today with hopes of yesterday being more flukey than real. Pretty much just like yesterday with the exception of landing a nice fish in the mix of some mid-dink. I pumped a few fish, and saw pseudo nymphs (very small tannish mayfly nymphs) and crawdad chunks. Bottom of boat has a bunch of crawdad parts in it and most of our fish were on crayfish patterns…I think they are eating crayfish good, small nymphs some. Yeah it's weedy, but go fish the Bighorn if you want to have something to complain about when it comes to weeds.
I'd like to break it all down with the ins and outs of "how to have a successful day on the lower Madison" right now…but I pretty much only have hunches. The hunch is that you can find some fish in the random water early on in the day that will eat crayfish and sculpins. I've seen more fish in the skinny stuff than I'd expect right now, but it is weedy and that can make it hard to fish big nymphs in 5" of water. So, the workaround requires being able to read the river to find the buckets and small deep impressions. Casting up to the top of the bucket with a heavily weighted rig so that the bugs drop off the top lip following the mend is the best way to get some numbers right now. I like to Anchor parallel to the middle of the bucket, cast back up, throw a heavy mend and drift down to the lower part of the bucket, recasting before the drag starts as this is when you tend to get the floating weeds. Give the bugs a solid water slap at the end of the forward cast and go again. My hunch is that's the best way to get some fish right now…also doesn't hurt to be the first boat down.